Difficult, complex operations such as liver transplantation have not only become safe but routine as a result of a combination of blue sky scientific research and clinical science. As a Director of the National Liver Unit at Birmingham Children’s Hospital and Professor of Paediatric Heptology at the University of Birmingham, Deirdre Kelly is at the centre of such world-class translational medicine.
In The New Optimists, she also makes the point that complex questions about the mechanisms of the disease and any genetic basis of disease demands sophisticated collaborations between experts to maximise success.
Professor Kelly is a graduate of Trinity College, Dublin. She has trained in both adult and paediatric gastroenterology and hepatology. She set up the Paediatric Liver Unit at Birmingham Children’s Hospital which provides a national and international service for children with liver failure and undergoing liver transplantation, transforming survival and outcome for these children. Until 2008, the Unit was the only national unit to be designated for small bowel and liver transplantation in the UK.
She runs an active research programme focussing on viral hepatitis in children, molecular biology and genetics of inherited liver disease, quality and outcome of life following liver and/or intestinal transplantation. She is a Commissioner on the Care Quality Commission (2008-). She is currently President of the European Society of Paediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition (ESPGHAN). She was Chairman of the Lunar Society (2007-2009).
She is also Editor of Diseases of the Liver and Biliary System in Children, 3rd edition (2008) Wiley-Blackwell.